Laikipia is a dreamland of timeless beauty, enjoying pristine settings, the home and next frontier for adventurous traveler. If you imagine peace of mind, plenty of wildlife, pampered luxury and extreme adventure, Laikipia is your destination. In gathering the scattered information on tourism in this region, we focus on luxury tented camps.
The luxury tented camps of Laikipia include among others Lewa Safari Camp, Makena’s Hills, Sangare, Kitich, Elephant watch, Ol pejeta Bush Camp and Kicheche Bush camp.
Definition:– Laikipia is a vast region encompassing the Central Northern Kenya. For tourism purposes our Laikipia is that circuit between the towns of Nyeri, Merille, Barogoi, Lake Baringo, Marigat, Ol Kalau back to Nyeri inclusive of Nyahururu, Aberdare and Mt Kenya massifs, to the west of road A2. That region inclusive of Nyeri, Maralal, Nanyuki and Nyahururu towns, Samburu, Buffalo Springs Reserves, Mathews range, the private, group or community ranches of Mugie, Lewa, Ol Pejeta, Borana, Tassia, Sweet Waters, El Karama, Tarsia, Il Ngwesi, Segera, Ole Lentille, Sangare, Solio, Ol malo, Lekurruki, Ol Ari Ngiro, Loisaba, ll Motiok, Maralal Game Sanctuary, Namunyak conservancy.
Below are the luxury tented camps in this region, their location and other details. Tented camps must not be mistaken for campsites. Campsites are basic, providing grounds where you can pitch your tent, firewood and maybe water. Campsites are mostly self catering while tented camps are establishment bordering on luxury with permanently erected canvas tents, with additional local roofing, complete with flush toilets and even bath taps similar to a five star hotel.
Elephant Watch Safaris Tented Camp ( 470 PP sharing)
Situated on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro river in Samburu National Reserve. Described as exotic, the camp very exclusive catering for high end guests, who desire to gain intimate knowledge of elephants. The area has over a thousand elephants in herds of 66 families. Accommodates a maximum of 10 guests, the camp has five custom made desert tents with en-suite bathrooms. Activities include, daily elephant watch tours, bird and nature walks, visits to safe the elephant project and local bomas. All safaris are conducted by excellent local guides.
Closed Season: Closed in April and November during the rains.
Access: By Air Kenya & daily scheduled flight from Wilson, by private charter or by road via Nanyuki town.
Kitich Tented Camp, Mathews Range (USD 370 PP sharing)
Kitich means “the place of happiness”. At Kitch the local Samburu and Soyei people met for celebrations marked by dances, singing, drinking and feasting. Kitich Tented Camp is located in Mathews mountain range, overlooking Ngeng River. Kitich evokes the bygone era of the traditional African safaris of tents, hurricane lamps and attentive service. The camp can accommodate a total of eight guests in four luxurious tents. Each tent has a large comfortable bed, en-suite bathroom with safari-style hot water showers. The separate open-plan cottage houses a bar, dining and sitting room with a fireplace.
Activities include;- walking and hiking in the wilderness, elephant trekking, bird and butterfly watching, bush picnics, swimming, visit to local Samburu village their market.
Closed Season: April, May, June and November to mid December.
Access: By private charter to Ngelai airstrip (10 kms from Kitich).
Lewa Safari Camp
Located in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The camp provides visitors with an insight into conservation and wildlife management. The camp can accomodate 26 guests, the permanent luxury tents are comprised of nine twins, two triples and one double. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water and flush toilets. The camp also has a pool.
Activities: game viewing – with the option of day and night drives, bird and bush walks, lion trekking, visits to local villages, visit the pre-historic archaeological site, fly fishing (weather permitting, participation in wildlife management activities, educational talks on the history and day-to-day operation of the conservancy.
Optional activities include horse riding and camel trekking, visits to Il N’gwesi Maasai cultural village, scenic flights up Mt. Kenya for trout fishing and walking with an overnight stay at the Rutundu log cabins.
Closed Season: 1st April to 15th May and November.
Access: By daily schedule flight from Wilson Airport (Nairobi) to Lewa Downs, by private charter flight direct to the Lewa airstrip, or by road from either Nanyuki (2 hours) or Nairobi.
Makena’s Hills Tented Camp
In Kimeru Language, “Makena” means the “happy one” . As if to proof this true, Makena’s Hill Tented Camp enjoys one of the most scenic and dramatic locations in the world. The camp is surrounded by series of ridges, amidst steep gorges and valleys in an open savannah plain. In this location is the private paradise, home of conservationist and author Kuki Gallman. Wildlife spotting is amazing with over 400 species of birds.
The camp is sited on the southern end of Kuki Gallmann’s Ol Ari Nyiro ranch, overlooking the rift valley down to Lake Baringo. In this fantasy location, in the furthest west of Laikipia, the film “I Dreamed of Africa” was shot. Accommodation is provided by 8 enormous Arabic desert style tents. The décor is Arabic with luxurious furnishings, antiques and mirrors. You can either choose to stay in tent fitted with two queen size beds or on with a four poster double bed. Each tent is attached to a spacious dressing room /bathroom and a private massage bed and yoga mats. Each has a private verandah overlooking the Great Rift Valley.
Facilities include a central area with two giant fireplaces, adjacent to a study and reading room, a front terrace with a camp fire, dining room, bar, shop and swimming pool.
Quality organic food is served.
Activities include walking and hiking the hills, game drives and tracking, camel walks, horse riding, bird walks, botanical walks, fishing for black bass and crayfish, night under stars in moonlit cottage, visits to local Pokot and Samburu homesteads, aromatherapy, massage and yoga, visit to archeological sites and aerial safaris.
Closed Season: Open all year round
Access: By private charter flight to Engelesha airfield.
Ol Pejeta Bush Camp(USD 385-470 per person sharing on full board)
Located in the 100, 000 acres Ol Pejeta Ranch, the Ol Pejeta Bush Camp is traditional yet very comfortable. The camp enjoys a beautiful location on the banks of Ewaso Nyiro River, right on the equator. Accommodation is provided in 6 bush tents with twin beds, overlooking the river. The eco-friendly bush camp has no permanent structures and in case of big groups, additional tents can be added. Tents either single/double/twin bedded, with duvets and blanket, with en-suite toilets and wash stand on the verandah. Showers are in the form of safari bucket. Guests are free to order their showers any time of the day. Water is heated to individual’s temperature requirement. Light is provided by re-chargeable solar lights.
At the camp guests have an opportunity participate in conservation activities like radio tracking of resident lions, rhinos and Cheetah. Guests can freely interact with researchers, rangers and guides who have insightful information on modern wildlife conservation. Guests also have an opportunity to learn about cattle ranching. Guests are also free to participate in capture and release, treatment of injured and sick animals, and translocation of wildlife if they happen to be in the ranch during these activities.
In summary activities include, Guided wildlife walks, day and Day and night game drives (with spotlights and night-vision monoculars), learn of wildlife data collection and monitoring, guided tours of sweet waters chimpanzee sanctuary, climbing Mt Kenya, tracking collared lions, elephant and other wildlife monitoring, visit Baraka, a blind black rhino, learn about Boran and Ankole cattle pastoral care and integration techniques with wildlife, game watching at the water hole, visit a local primary school or dispensary supported by Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Rhino tracking with the rangers (by special request only, maximum 2 guests per patrol)
Kicheche Bush Camp (USD 335 PP sharing)
Kicheche’s new Laikipia Camp is a small luxurious tented camp, nestled at the foot of indigenous forest overlooking a waterhole, in the centre of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy (90,000 Acres). It accommodates 12 guests. Accommodation consists of six luxurious tents. The tents are custom-designed and are fully insect-proof with en-suite bathrooms equipped with a dresser, flushing toilet and hot showers. There are comfortable chairs on each veranda overlooking the plains. One tent can be converted into a triple on request. There is a spacious well-furnished lounge and dining tent.
In summary activities include, Guided wildlife walks, day and Day and night game drives (with spotlights and night-vision monoculars ), learn of wildlife data collection and monitoring, guided tours of sweet waters chimpanzee sanctuary, climbing Mt Kenya, tracking collared lions, elephant and other wildlife monitoring, visit Baraka, a blind black rhino, learn about Boran and Ankole cattle pastoral care and integration techniques with wildlife, game watching at the water hole, visit a local primary school or dispensary supported by Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Rhino tracking with the rangers (by special request only, maximum 2 guests per patrol)
Sangare Ranch Tented Camp (USD 135 PP sharing)
Situated in a 5000 acre Sangare Private Ranch at the foot of Aberdare Range the camp lies on the shore of a soda bird lake surrounded by wooded ravines, open meadows and dense thickets – ideal habitat for birds, elephant, buffalo and leopard.
The camp has twelve double tents with en-suite bathrooms. The main building has a lounge, a dining room with a fireplace, and a veranda for relaxation. The well trained staff who takes good care of the guest is a major plus of the camp. Of particular notice are the excellent driver guides and trackers, with enormous knowledge of their environment.
Activities include days and night game drives, bird watching (over 300 species), nature walks, horse riding, picnics, mountain bike, fly fishing for rainbow trout, night game walks, bush breakfast and sundowners. Other activities include visits to nearby Solio Ranch and Aberdare National Park.
Access: By scheduled flight to Nanyuki with transfers or by private charter to the Sangare airstrip. Guests without 4-Wheel Drive vehicle can be met at Green Hills Hotel in Nyeri.
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